What do Europeans want most of all? Health! They want to be fit and agile, according to the results of a GfK survey. And they also want to show off this fitness. Athleisure Wear - the ISPO.com editorial team following the trend for a long time - offers the opportunity for this. Because not only passionate gym-goers cut a brilliant figure in it.
It sounds like a trick, but it's actually psychology: people who dress sportily also feel fitter. Researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, USA, have proven this. Athleisure wear is therefore not only practical, stylish and sexy, it also ensures daily well-being.
Athleisure is ultra-chic, because the creatives of the fashion world have their fingers in the pie. Stella McCarthy, Alexander Wang, Beyoncè, Rihanna, Kanye West - they all design functional clothing in the athleisure look, not infrequently on behalf of sporting goods giants like Nike, Adidas or Puma.
The image is right, and Athleisure brands are available for every level of buyer. The hand-polished calfskin sneakers for 1,000 dollars may not be worn at the weight bench, but they are in the executive suite.
Athleisure is made of the stuff fashion dreams are made of - and it's not necessarily Lycra. Now they're experimenting with silk and cashmere. This makes for the perfect mix and means that sweatpants are not just sweatpants and also look good on non-athletes.
Functional clothing is practical, durable and very comfortable to wear. Anyone who has looked enviously at the sporty outfits of their fellow fitness enthusiasts can now finally wear them themselves - without having to check in at the gym.
Sweatpants and high heels, classy blazer and yoga pants? Yes, that's the idea. Athleisure allows for daring combinations. Conversely, this means that your previous favourite pieces can be worn in a new combination. This saves money, especially as athleisure wear doesn't have to be expensive.
Opportunity instead of risk, because the sporty appearance is also rewarded in the career. Researchers at the elite US university Harvard, for example, report that a casual, sporty outfit is more likely to lead to professional success. Motto: Those who dare to be unconventional will also act boldly in other ways.
The hype around Athleisure Wear is definitely justified, because it is practical and saves time in everyday life. Many a change of clothes problem of days gone by is a thing of the past. Maybe you can't go straight to the office after a hard workout, but definitely from kindergarten or a walk in the woods. The sneakers are guaranteed to do it all.
It's also the timing that clinches it for Athleisure. A new awareness of health and the sporty outfit come together perfectly. So it could later be called: Athleisure? This is the time of the fitness and health wave in the 2010s, after all - just like petticoats and rock'n roll in the 1950s.